The World’s Most Murderous Century

“In the world’s most murderous century [the 20th], about one hundred million human beings were killed in war, another hundred million under political repression, and yet another hundred million in ethnic an sectarian violence.” -Os Guinness, The Case for Civility

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Crisis of Authority

“Drop the word “authority” into any conversation today, and it sets off in people a whole range of different vibrations. None of us has escaped the crisis of the last two decades. The widespread, conscious revolt against all established authority—government, university, church, family, tradition, Bible—broke out in 1968 when students and workers took to the barricades in Paris and the “Free Speech” movement erupted on the Berkeley campus of the University of California. Since then some genuine gains can be registered, in that contemporary society is more open and participatory than before. But there have been serious losses too, especially in the rejection of values and standards. Anarchists, in an uneasy alliance with existentialists, declare that nothing has meaning any longer, and that therefore no intellectual or moral authority of any kind is left. The Christian evangelist who seeks to infiltrate the defenses of anarchists will not begin with the authority of the Bible, but rather with the authority of Christ. For Jesus of Nazareth remains an attractive figure to them, in spite of the fact that he somehow managed to combine with his radical challenges to tradition a strangely conservative attitude to God and to Scripture. Moreover, his humble submissiveness had a self-authenticating quality, and still has when embodied in his followers. His authority does not simply impose itself from above; it commends itself from below. It is unexpectedly liberating.” -John Stott, Understanding the Bible

Hermeneutical Hiccups of Westerners

“The very existence of these problems [related to date, location, etc of the Exodus] in our minds only shows that we are scientifically-minded Westerners. Indeed, in one sense, we are importing our own problems into the Scriptures, and then blaming the Scriptures because we do not find answers there. Assuredly, to the original writers, these were no problems, or they would have framed their accounts differently. We are not to blame for being ‘scientific man,’ any more than the Hebrews are to blame for being ‘prescientific man,’ but we must learn not to ask of Scripture the answers which it is not written to give. If we must ask these questions, then we can only guess at the answers.” -R. Alan Cole, Exodus, p. 16

More Reason To Fast

“Unhesitatingly we recommend fasting for the Christians of today. In fact, we are inclined to say that there is more reason for fasting in our day than ever before. Corrupted human nature yearns for luxury, and tends to become more corrupt as wealth and luxury increase. God knows that we cannot well be checked except by burdens and sorrows. And he himself has suggested fasting, by means of which we may guard against the unspiritual influence of ease and luxury.” -Abraham Kuyper

Yeah, No That’s Not The Trinity

“The worship of gods in animal form may seem strange to some of us. Many early Egyptologists were appalled to find that the Egyptians worshiped gods in animal forms, and called the religion ‘primitive.’ But the Egyptians’ way of seeing aspects of God in the world around them warrants a second look. Some modern scholars suggest the concept of many gods who equal one God is similar to the concept of the Christians Trinity–a mysterious but deliberate way in which the Deity reveals itself to humans.” – found on a plaque in the Egyptian exhibit at the Chicago Natural History Museum

BTW NOTE: No, no. Sigh. This is not how the Trinity works.